Strong national campaign at CDR Yamaha Monster Energy results in P2 ranking.
CDR Yamaha Monster Energy’s Luke Clout left Coolum’s final round of the 2019 Pirelli MX Nationals content to finish runner-up in the MX1 championship behind a dominant Todd Waters, vowing to return with the target of going one better next year.
Clout led his share of the championship this season aboard the factory-backed YZ450F in place of triple champion Dean Ferris and took the title down to the wire, but it was Waters who proved unstoppable in the Queensland finals.
The weekend was a challenging one for 24-year-old Clout, watching his hopes fade on Saturday when a mistake in moto two dropped him to sixth overall. Yesterday was a slight improvement on paper as he finished fourth, however, it wouldn’t be enough to overcome Waters as he won all five motos across the weekend.
It was still an impressive end result for Clout, who improved his national ranking by one position after finishing third in 2018. He tasted round victories at both Wonthaggi and Maitland in the 10-round series, trading the red plate with both Waters and Hayden Mellross on multiple occasions.
“I can’t really complain,” Clout reflected on Sunday afternoon. “It would have been nice to get the title, but Todd rode unreal today and so did the rest of the competition – that definitely didn’t make it easy on me. We’re better than last year, so maybe we’ll work harder for next year and try to go one better again.
“[This season] was insane. Hayden held the red plate there for a little bit and then it pretty much switched at every round, so it was crazy. It almost seemed that the red plate was a little bit of bad luck there for a while because whoever got it was making mistakes! It was a hell of a year and it’s been fun battling… it’s been awesome.”
The expectation to deliver as part of the all-conquering CDR organisation was high for both Clout and teammate Kirk Gibbs – who also transferred across from the former factory KTM team in 2019 – and it was a convincing campaign put forward by the former MX2 national champion.
“Obviously when Craig gave me the call last year I couldn’t really pass up the opportunity,” he added. “I tried to deliver him a championship this year, but unfortunately we fell a little bit short. I can’t thank the team enough, can’t thank Yamaha enough and everyone associated.”